Public Info

Freeholder Board Awards Grants for 42 “Union County Means Green” Community Garden Projects

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that grants have been awarded to 42 garden projects in 14 municipalities through the Union County Means Green Community Garden Grants program.

“Through the UC Means Green program, we bring the benefits of community gardening to people from many different walks of life throughout Union County, including those who may find it difficult to access conventional garden plots,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “This year, our awardees range from historic sites and libraries to facilities for seniors, the homeless, and people with disabilities and special needs.”

“UC Means Green helps Union County residents of all ages improve their nutrition and their awareness of environmental stewardship. Our awardees also provide fresh vegetables for local food pantries, they organize education and recreation events, and they create new opportunities to for our youth to participate in community service,” said Freeholder Vice Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Grants from UC Means Green have helped to improve existing community gardens, start new gardens and transform empty lots into thriving centers for social and educational activities, with hundreds of pounds of fresh produce consumed and donated to local food pantries each year.

The grant program launched in 2016 and is administered on behalf of the Freeholder Board by the non-profit organization Groundwork Elizabeth.

This year Union County Means Green awarded pre-budgeted grants for starting new gardens, including a choice of raised beds, waist-high accessible beds for seniors and people with disabilities, or “Earth Boxes” that enable gardening in tight spaces.

The program also awarded  block grants for expanding or improving gardens,  pre-budgeted grants for starting pollinator plots that include edible plants, and pre-budgeted grants for hydroponic gardens, enabling the gardening experience to continue throughout the winter months.

The 2019 awardees are:                                  

Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission (2 accessible beds, $1300); Berkeley Heights Learning Community Garden at Littell-Lord Farmstead


Hanson Park Conservancy (2 accessible beds, $500); Hanson Park Conservancy Community Garden, 38 Springfield Avenue


Housing Authority City of Elizabeth (2 accessible beds, $1300); Farley Towers Community Garden, 33 Cherry Street

BEAM Housing Services, Inc. (6 Earth Boxes + 1 accessible bed, $1300);

Heritage Village Garden, 225 Second Street

YMCA of Eastern Union County (garden improvements, $500); The Gateway Family YMCA Child Care Center, 1150 Dickinson Street

City of Elizabeth (garden improvements, $500); Peterstown Senior Garden, 418 Palmer Street,

City of Elizabeth (2 accessible beds, $1300); The Stephen Sampson Center Garden, 800 Anna Street

City of Elizabeth (4 raised beds, $1300); The Liberty Square Garden in Love, Liberty Square Senior Citizen Center

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ (hydroponic garden, $3000); Jewish Family Service Urban Community Vegetable Garden, 655 Westfield Avenue

PISC Vira Verde Nova Mocidade (garden improvements, $500); Vira Verde Nova Mocidade Garden, 417 US Highway 1

Josephine’s Place (garden improvements $500); Josephine’s Place Garden of Peace, 622 Elizabeth Avenue

Prevention Links (2 raised beds +1 accessible bed, $1300); E’Port Community Center Garden, 250 Second Street

YMCA of Eastern Union County (pollinator garden, $750); YMCA  Elizabeth Branch Community Garden, 135 Madison Avenue


Communities in Cooperation, Inc. (garden improvements, $500); CIC Community Garden, 1025 John Street, Linden

New Providence

New Providence United Methodist Church/New Providence Garden Club (pollinator garden, $750); Serenity Garden, 1441 Springfield Avenue

New Providence Memorial Library (pollinator garden, $750); The Library Garden, 377 Elkwood Avenue


DuCret School of Art (6 Earth Boxes + 1 accessible bed, $1300); DuCret Community Garden, 1030 Central Avenue

Richmond Towers Residence Association (hydroponic garden, $3000); Richmond Towers Residence Association Gardens, 520 E. Front Street

Be the Change — Kean University (hydroponic garden, $3000); Park Hotel Edible Landscape, 123 West 7th Street

Cedarbrook Park Apartments (4 raised beds, $1300); Cedarbrook Park Apartments Community Garden, 1272 Park Avenue

Youth Felicitares/Stone Square Mason Lodge (4 raised beds, $1300); Queen City Community Garden, Berkeley Terrace


City of Rahway (garden improvements, $500); Rahway Community Garden, 537 Central Avenue

Rahway Community Action Organization (garden improvements, $500); RCAO Community Garden, 809 E. Hazelwood Avenue


Amalfe Senior and Community Center, garden improvements, $500); BT Mathis and Diane Mathis Community Garden, 1268 Shaffer Avenue

Roselle Park

Roselle Park Environmental Commission (pollinator garden, $750); Roselle Park Community Garden, 133 Valley Road

Roselle Park Environmental Commission (garden improvements, $500); Roselle Park Community Garden, 133 Valley Road

Scotch Plains

Township of Scotch Plains (garden improvements, $3000); Scotch Plains Community Garden at Frazee House

Scotch Plains Garden Club (2 accessible beds, $1300); Scotch Plains Community Garden at Frazee House

Scotch Plains-Fanwood YMCA (hydroponic Garden, $3000); YMCA Square Foot Garden, 1340 Martine Avenue

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish/Township of Scotch Plains (garden improvements, $2000); Community Garden of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church,  1571 S. Martine Avenue


Township of Springfield (garden improvements, $1500); Springfield Township Community Garden  

Township of Springfield (pollinator garden, $750); Springfield Township Pollinator Garden, N. Trivett Avenue and Center Street

Springfield Free Public Library (2 raised beds + 1 accessible bed, $1300); Lettuce Read and Grow Garden, 66 Mountain Avenue


Summit Area YMCA (garden improvements, $500); Summit ACHIEVE Community Garden, Beauvoir Place and Beauvoir Avenue

Union Township

Union Township Adult Community Development (2 accessible beds, $1300); Thomas A. Ehrhart Gardens, 100 Francis Court

Union Senior Residents Housing Corporation (hydroponic garden, $3000); James Schaefer Garden, 35 W. Summer Avenue   

YMCA of Eastern Union County (hydroponic garden, $3000); Gateway Family YMCA Five Points Branch Community Garden, 201 Tucker Avenue

Township of Union (2 accessible beds, $1300); Township of Union Community Garden, Eleanor R. Erickson Park, Liberty Avenue

YMCA of Eastern Union County (garden improvements, $500); Gateway Family YMCA W.I.S.E Center Branch at United Methodist Church


First United Methodist Church of Westfield/Westfield Community Center (garden improvements, $500); Justice Garden, 1 East Broad Street

Additionally, YWCA Eastern Union County received an award of $3000 for a hydroponic garden, for its “Growing for Health” project at a domestic violence shelter in Union County.

For more information about Groundwork Elizabeth visit online at

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs, activities and services visit The Green Connection,

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For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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